How We Work

There are 4 stages to the services that we offer. Advice, Assistance, Advocacy and Appeals.

1. Advice

Traditionally barristers have provided formal legal advice only to solicitors. Our Direct Access service allows those charged or bailed for alleged criminal offences to get expert criminal law advice directly from a criminal lawyer before or after the police or prosecuting authorities have formally charged a suspect for a criminal offence. Most of our advisory work can be arranged on a fixed fee basis.

Getting the advice at an early stage can be vital.

For example getting the barristers advice concerning written representations that need to be made to the prosecuting authority such as the CPS, the Serious Fraud Office can make the difference between a decision to charge and discontinuing the case altogether.

After charge advice

If you have been charged with a criminal offence we can provide expert criminal law advice and a criminal barrister’s opinion on the following matters:

  • Is there enough evidence to charge me?
  • Can I apply for a dismissal or discharge of the case against me?
  • Do I have a defence in law?
  • What evidence is required to prove my innocence?
  • Does my case require the assistance of an expert such as a forensic expert?
  • Should I plead guilty?

Getting the timely advice of a barrister can be critical. We offer both the option of a fixed fee telephone advice service or conference and advice in chambers.

2. Preparation of a case.

The key to any good defence is preparation, preparation, preparation! Knowing the direction that your case could take and making early strategic decisions is vitally important. Our case preparation service includes:

  • Expert knowledge of criminal law and procedure
  • Steps which need to be taken to identify defence evidence such as potential witnesses that could assist the defence.
  • Considering the use of experts to challenge DNA and forensic evidence,
  • Challenging evidence which can be objected to as inadmissible or which has been obtained improperly or unlawfully by the police.

Thorough and meticulous case preparation is the key to effective representation in court. Our direct access advice service allows a criminal barrister to examine, study and prepare your papers in detail discussing all the options depending on what stage your case has reached.

3. (Advocacy) Representation at Court

Our work is underpinned by thorough and fearless representation of our clients no matter how serious the charge. We understand that having a criminal conviction has far reaching consequences; it can mean imprisonment and a devastating effect on an individual’s reputation, employment and family life.

The criminal barristers providing this service are specialist advocates who have many years of experience and specialist training in advocacy and legal skills. We appear before all criminal courts; magistrate, crown court and the Court of Appeal.

4. Advice on appeal.

We provide a specialist appeals service following conviction in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

Many of our appeals often deal with cases where a client has been poorly represented by a legal aid solicitor or were unrepresented (i.e represented themselves in court and were convicted). With Government cuts to legal aid, greater numbers of defendants have been forced to represent themselves. See the case study in our “Appeals” section where a client who represented themselves and was convicted by a magistrate was successful in overturning the conviction on appeal to the Crown Court when represented by one of our criminal barristers.
In many of these appeal cases we can provide an initial fixed fee advice which advises on

  • Whether grounds of appeal exist.
  • Your prospects of succeeding on appeal and which steps need to be taken to appeal your conviction.
  • The law, procedure and issues such as evidence may have been missed at the earlier trial.
  • We can also look at cases afresh and give a second opinion.
  • If your appeal is successful you may even be able to recover some or all your costs back from both the Magistrates and the Crown Court.

See our appeals section for more information on criminal convictions and sentences and how to appeal them. To arrange for expert advice directly from a specialist criminal barrister call us now on 0208 123 9999 or email your enquiry to info@criminal-barrister.co.uk

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